New York Yankees: 5 Players Who Will Not Be Back in 2015
The New York Yankees had a big makeover this past offseason, bringing in a lot of new faces.
As the end of the 2014 season nears, Yankees fans should prepare for another offseason of turnover.
The following is a list of the top players most likely not to return to the Yankees next season.
One obvious omission from the list is Derek Jeter as we have been witnessing his farewell tour this season and I'm pretty sure it's clear that his decision to retire is final.
Though all of these players could technically return, based on team needs and performance it is very likely you won't see the following wearing pinstripes in 2015.
Brandon McCarthy, SP
The New York Yankees acquired Brandon McCarthy in a small, quiet deal prior to this season's trade deadline.
He was in the midst of an awful season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, posting a 3-10 record with a 5.01 ERA.
However, since being picked up by the Yankees on July 6, McCarthy has had a season reversal. In six starts with the Yankees, McCarthy is 4-1 with an ERA of 2.21. He is averaging just under a strikeout per inning.
McCarthy was brought in to fill a deflated rotation for the rest of the season, but his strong performance has raised questions of whether this short-term solution should actually be part of the team's long-term plans.
Unfortunately, the numbers game will work against a McCarthy return in 2014.
Despite having consistent health question marks, the Yankees are set to return CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Masahiro Tanaka and David Phelps to their rotation.
Throw in one of the big free agent pitchers available this offseason and there just isn't a spot for the 31-year-old right-hander.
Ichiro Suzuki, OF
It was a bit of a surprise when the Yankees re-signed Ichiro to a two-year deal after acquiring him in a trade with Seattle back in 2012.
That will not happen again when Ichiro is set to be a free agent at the end of this season.
In fact, while Ichiro sat back and watched Derek Jeter's farewell tour, it is very possible that this is Ichiro's final season as well. The 40-year-old has had a 14-year career in MLB and has witnessed his play deteriorate to the level of someone his age.
I don't envision any team other than the Seattle Mariners picking him up this offseason, and the Mariners would probably only be doing so to allow him to finish where he started.
Hiroki Kuroda, SP
Hiroki Kuroda has been talking about retiring or returning to Japan for what seems like forever now.
I believe after this season one of those two decisions will come to fruition.
The Yankees have been able to convince Kuroda to come back on one-year deals by throwing a lot of money his way. That offer won't be there this offseason. Kuroda is 39 and is having his worst season as a Yankee.
Kuroda has been the most stable pitcher in the Yankees rotation over the past three seasons, so the idea of him not being in the rotation next year means the Yanks must replace him with someone as reliable.
I do not see Kuroda pitching in MLB next season, but if he does, it won't be with the Yankees.
Stephen Drew, SS
When the Yankees traded for Stephen Drew from the Boston Red Sox, it was the first trade between the two teams since 1997.
However, the real surprise is that any team would trade for a player who was batting .176 on the season.
It is clear the Yankees envisioned something completely different.
It is possible the Yankees saw a vision where Drew would come to New York and play second for the rest of the season, then seamlessly transfer over to short next season for the departed Derek Jeter.
I can not envision a scenario where that becomes a reality now. Drew has actually been worse since joining the team, batting only .163 in 12 games.
Simple food for thought going forward for the Yankees: If your biggest rival is willing to trade you a player for absolutely nothing, there is probably a good reason for it.
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Call it a gut feeling or call it optimistic thinking, but I believe Alex Rodriguez will not return to the Yankees in 2015.
Unlike the other players I have listed, A-Rod is still very much under contract after this season ends. In fact he is still owed $61 million over the next three seasons.
A-Rod's suspension ends after this season, and there is no real reason to believe he will not show up to Spring Training next year. Recently, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has even stated that he expects a "fit" A-Rod to be ready for next season.
But with A-Rod there is always something. I could envision a world where another suspension arises or the Yankees just don't want him in the clubhouse.
I can't see them just cutting him and burning that money, but why not offer him a Bobby Bonilla deal just to go away and pay him the money?
This is all a long shot because it is clear A-Rod wants to come back and play, but one can hope.